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HP Forum Archive 14

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33S: why all the memory?
Message #1 Posted by Warren Taylor on 9 Mar 2004, 4:51 p.m.

the 33S has 31K of user memory.

But, it has only a few variables, something like 40 or less?

And there are only 26 labels available for programming. I can't imagine that you can get a program up to anywhere near 31K and still only use 26 labels.

So, you can add in some equations too. But how many can you add before the list of equations becomes unwieldy when you have to scroll through them one at a time.

What am I missing? I bet 10K would have probably been adequate. So who knows of a use of the calculator where they expect to use up more than half the memory?

Warren

      
Re: 33S: why all the memory?
Message #2 Posted by bill platt on 9 Mar 2004, 5:46 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Warren Taylor

Quote:
What am I missing?

That it is easier to simply put too much memory into the machine than it is to change the fundamental system design. Memory is cheap now. The 32sii is the basis for the 33s. the 32sii had less than 400 bytes.

See: http://www.hpmuseum.org/cgi-sys/cgiwrap/hpmuseum/forum.cgi?read=53114

http://www.hpmuseum.org/cgi-sys/cgiwrap/hpmuseum/archv014.cgi?read=51770

also search on "Paul Brogger" and on "33s" in the current forum--you will find more interesting results, such as a minor bug with reset, an annoying naming convention etc etc etc

regards,

Bill

            
Re: 33S: why all the memory?
Message #3 Posted by Curtis Quist on 9 Mar 2004, 6:21 p.m.,
in response to message #2 by bill platt

As memory chips have become larger there is a point where a larger capacity memory chip is cheaper to buy then a smaller capacity memory chip. If that is the case, I just wish they would allow for more capability, in terms of the number of registers and such, when the calculator has that capability.

As a developer sometimes you will put the first release out without as much capability with the idea that later on you might add more bells and whistles. I hope that is the case, but alot of that depends on how busy the code developer is on that project and how many projects he/she has to worry about.

      
Re: 33S: why all the memory?
Message #4 Posted by Ben Salinas on 9 Mar 2004, 7:18 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Warren Taylor

"So who knows of a use of the calculator where they expect to use up more than half the memory?"

No one. That's the point. There is virtually no possible way to use up all the memory (except perhaps spamming several thousand lines of equation in programs). If they had put in 10k of memory (which would be innefficient because of the size of chips that exsist now), people would be able to use them up. I have used up 5k of memory. I had about 15 complicated (long) equations and a few programs. Although it is possible to use up 31k of memory, it is highly unlikely that anyone will need all 31k at one time, therefore making it always useable (you will never again get a MEMORY FULL error that was so ever apparent on my 32sii.)

Its a good change... thank them for it, don't complain about it.

-Ben Salinas

            
Re: 33S: why all the memory?
Message #5 Posted by Warren Taylor on 9 Mar 2004, 7:27 p.m.,
in response to message #4 by Ben Salinas

I do thank them. Its better than having too little.

But all that memory makes me wish I could do more with it. I could store many more programs in that space, and I can't possibly store more than 26 very linear programs.

But still, its the best sort of complaint to have, I guess.

Warren

                  
Re: 33S: why all the memory?
Message #6 Posted by Ernie Malaga on 9 Mar 2004, 11:52 p.m.,
in response to message #5 by Warren Taylor

Quote:
But all that memory makes me wish I could do more with it. I could store many more programs in that space, and I can't possibly store more than 26 very linear programs.

I understand your feelings. It's like having a big bus with seats for only 26 people and a large empty space (no seats) towards the back.

The opposite case is even more annoying. TI's SR-52 had memory for only 224 _unmerged_ steps, yet offered 72 labels. Why so many? Just declaring those labels would use up 144 of the 224 steps available.

-Ernie

            
Re: 33S: why all the memory?
Message #7 Posted by Norris on 10 Mar 2004, 9:22 p.m.,
in response to message #4 by Ben Salinas

The memory of the 33S is obviously larger than that of the 32SII, and this is an obviously an improvement.

But before we all start patting HP on the back, let's ask the following questions: is the 33S going to be marketed in a misleading manner? Will the limitations of its "31KB" memory be fully acknowledged, or will they be concealed from unsuspecting customers?

The signs aren't encouraging. If you check the "full description" of the 33S at Walmart.com, for example, you will see that the 33S has "31K user memory". There is no mention of the limited numbers of labels or variables, or the limited number of equations that may be stored.

The 33S may still be a good calculator in spite of these issues, and I may still get one. But I would do so knowing that "31K" really means maybe 3K. Less knowledgeable customers are going to buy it assuming that 31K means 31K. And some of them are going to be justifiably upset when they realize the truth.

      
Re: 33S memory: why not?
Message #8 Posted by Paul Brogger on 9 Mar 2004, 7:54 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Warren Taylor

If I've got it straight, all of HP's recent calculator models have been old calculator "application software" re-implemented on new, non-proprietary (that is, non-HP) CPUs. The calculator line appears to have been rather hastily re-built on whatever scattered, burnt-out rubble of the various calculator groups was to be found after years of corporate neglect and abuse. (Somebody correct me if I'm overstating this.)

HP had enough of a job putting all-new foundations (CPUs) beneath their old models' code, and new wrappers (externals, SD & Flash memory, USB interfaces, etc.) around them. They seem to have undertaken as little change to the functional code base as they could get away with. All of those decisions were no doubt driven by cold, unfeeling spreadsheets somewhere deep in the bureaucratic gray matter.

Hey, they're back producing credible calculators! Most of us should need only remember the 6s and 6s solar to restore a measure of genuine appreciation for the 33s and 49G+.

For the 33s they chose a stock, off-the-shelf part and wrote a Saturn emulator for it. 32K is as cheap as 4K, so why not use that?

Heck, they could just as easily have put in the 32K part, but only enabled use of, say, 6.3K of it. And some of us would be happier because that amount of RAM seems somehow more "appropriate". [Go figure!]

I suspect we'll start minimizing label use by using flags a lot and unwinding subroutines, and eventually fill up that 32K with lots of cool stuff. (And then the "Why no serial I/O capability?" chorus will get louder . . . )

The 32K is a luxurious consequence of the ever-decreasing cost of silicon real estate. The 26 labels and 33 variables limitations are unfortunate consequences of the ever-increasing cost of labor, compounded (I suspect) by the calculator line's rather tortured organizational history of late.

Edited: 9 Mar 2004, 7:59 p.m.

            
Re: 33S memory: why not?
Message #9 Posted by John Cadick on 9 Mar 2004, 8:24 p.m.,
in response to message #8 by Paul Brogger

Quote:
They seem to have undertaken as little change to the functional code base as they could get away with. All of those decisions were no doubt driven by cold, unfeeling spreadsheets somewhere deep in the bureaucratic gray matter.

Certainly making a profit was one of the reasons that they hurried to market. All of us, even big corporations, would quit if it wasn't for payday. I suspect another major reason was the long and loud complaints they were getting from their user base.

You recall they made a promise to us users about how many new calcs they would have out by when. They made it. Congraulations HP.

John

            
Re: 33S memory: why not?
Message #10 Posted by Wayne Stephens on 10 Mar 2004, 7:15 a.m.,
in response to message #8 by Paul Brogger

Well Said!

I didn't think you were overstating anything.

Take care.

Wayne


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